It’s that time again, where we get long winded with our words and pull together a list of things nobody tells you unless you’re engaged, with 20 questions to ask your wedding stationer. (Check out What to Ask Your Wedding Reception Venue, What To Ask Your Marriage Celebrant, What To Ask Your Cake Designer and What To Ask Your Dress Designer)
Stationery is an obsession of mine, I pour over notebook designs, I appreciate the brilliance of a beautifully addressed envelope. There is no sweeter joy than receiving a thick envelope in the mail and anticipating the occasion that awaits inside. So today we’re talking all about stationery. What do you need to know before you order your wedding invitations? What do you need to ask?
1. Is there a minimum order?
As print runs can cost a lot of money, often stationers will need a minimum order. It might be twenty invitations, or fifty so make sure you find out (especially if you’re having an intimate wedding).
2. What paper stock and printing methods are used?
From letterpress, to copper foil, to flat and offset printing, what printing methods does the stationer use? What is available to you?
3. What does the design process involve?
Some stationers will sit down with you for a meeting and design an invitation for you from scratch, others will just be a simple online ordering process. What process does the stationer you’re interested in use? What will they need from you? What will happen?
Invitation by Elly Hartley Designs
4. What kind of customisations can be made?
Are you able to customise the paper stock? The printing colour? The decorative elements? Or are you locked into the invitation design as it is shown on their website or folio?
5. Are you able to see a sample?
A lot of stationers will print their most popular designs and send them to you for a small fee (a great way of seeing print quality, paper stock and colours). If meeting a stationer in person, they might have samples with them. It’s always a good idea to see samples so your expectations are in check.
Invitation by Alannah Rose Stationery Boutique
6. How many changes can be made before a fee is incurred?
Some designers will offer one or two changes free, but there’s often a limit (otherwise couples could go back and forth twenty times before settling!) so make sure you check how many changes are included and check each one thoroughly with other people to make sure everything is correct.
7. Are envelopes included?
An odd question but yes, some designers don’t include these as a standard. Others offer a range at different prices, so make sure you check!
8. What extras do they offer?
Want all of your stationery to match? Does your stationer offer extras that coordinate with your invitation? You might consider extras like place cards, order of service booklets, menus, seating charts, favor tags, thank you cards – the sky is the limit (some even create matching websites!).
9. Are they able to supply any digital elements?
With so many couples today choosing to host their own websites, use apps and fun ways to collate photos and information for guests it’s fun to have a wedding logo or part of your invitation (like your signature flower, or monogram) in a digital format for you to use.
10. Are the extras customisable as well to match your invitations?
Is it a stock standard extra or are you able to customise different elements to get the extra exactly as you want it?
Invitation by Peppermint Press
11. When can the extras be ordered?
Do the extra pieces have to be ordered the same time as your invitations or can they be ordered closer to the wedding date?
12. What is the time from ordering to delivery?
Considering invitations should be sent our between 6-8 weeks before the wedding (and save the dates earlier). What is the designer’s turn around time? Do they need three months notice for your booking? Does it take three weeks for printing and design? Make sure you get the timelines from the designer so you can work backwards and figure out when you need to get your order in.
13. How do they need the guests’ names formatted?
If you are having guest names printed on your invitations, your designer will need them and they’ll want them in a format that works for whatever program they’re using to easily import them. So make sure you know what it is!
Invitation by The Print Fairy
14. Are envelopes able to be printed?
Envelope printing is the biggest time saver and is a nice finishing touch to your invitations. It’s always worth it if your stationer can print your envelopes as well!
15. What will the postage cost be?
If your invitation is an odd shape or a heavy design, it may cost extra to post. Your designer should be able to tell you if you might incur extra postage costs when you go to post your invitations to your guests.
16. Who will handle assembly?
If you’re choosing a design with many elements, who will be in charge of assembling everything? Will your invitations arrive ready to send out or will you need to allocate some time to assemble them and get everything in order?
Invitation by Simplethings Press
17. Will a proof be available? When?
Once you have figured out your design and given all the details of the wedding to your stationer, you should be sent a proof to check over. Check it over and give it to as many people as you can to read to make sure you have every detail correct and in order.
18. What happens if there is a mistake on your order?
It does happen that mistakes are made. If it’s major, like the ceremony time, or the reception and you need to reprint the invitations, what will happen? Will your designer charge full price? A quarter of the price? Make sure you know what will happen.
19. When is payment due? How?
Is payment due upon ordering? Once the proof is delivered? How are you able to pay?
20. What is their refund policy?
What happens if for some reason you need to cancel your order? Are you able to receive a full refund or is it only partial? How late can you cancel without losing the full cost?